The Goodman Theatre has announced that it has joined Los Angeles’ Center Theatre Group (CTG) in a new co-commissioning partnership that also involves three other internationally prominent theaters — London’s Royal Court Theatre and National Theatre, and New York’s Second Stage — in the hopes of generating new plays to appear in multiple cities over the next decade. Included in this new effort are playwrights Jon Robin Baitz (Pulitzer finalist and Tony nominee), Will Eno (Pulitzer finalist), Danai Gurira (Tony nominee), Lisa Kron (Tony winner), Young Jean Lee (Obie winner), Lynn Nottage (two-time Pulitzer winner), Qui Nguyen (Steinberg Award winner), Al Smith (Sunday Times Playwriting Award winner) and Paula Vogel (Pulitzer winner). Titled the “Edgerton Foundation Playwrights Initiative,” the program is supported by a $1 million grant from the Edgerton Foundation, allowing CTG to commission at least two shows annually with each of the four partner theaters.
“This new program is a natural outgrowth of our already strong relationship with Center Theatre Group, and our mutual commitment to the development and production of new American plays,” said Artistic Director Robert Falls. “CTG is our producing partner on our current production of Lauren Yee’s delightful Goodman commission, KING OF THE YEES, and recently hosted a successful remount of my production of Rebecca Gilman’s newest play, LUNA GALE. I am thrilled that this joint program will provide greater resources and reach for playwrights.”
Added CTG Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, “Having successfully joined forces with Bob and his producing partner Executive Director Roche Schulfer in the past, it is clear that we are stronger together. This agreement affirms our intentions to continue that partnership, with the realization that it gives great benefits to the theaters, artists and audiences alike.”The Goodman currently works with 16 playwrights under commission, including Lucas Baisch, Thomas Bradshaw, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Mikhael Tara Garver, Ricky Ian Gordon, Ike Holter, Lucas Hnath, Dawn Renee Jones, Rajiv Joseph, Evan Linder, Richard Nelson, Dael Orlandersmith, Jose Rivera, Emma Stanton, Tracey Scott Wilson and Lauren Yee.
The Goodman currently works with 16 playwrights under commission, including Lucas Baisch, Thomas Bradshaw, Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, Mikhael Tara Garver, Ricky Ian Gordon, Ike Holter, Lucas Hnath, Dawn Renee Jones, Rajiv Joseph, Evan Linder, Richard Nelson, Dael Orlandersmith, Jose Rivera, Emma Stanton, Tracey Scott Wilson and Lauren Yee.
This weekend, Chicago audiences can experience an excerpt of the plays-in-process by the four commissioned artists of the Goodman’s Playwrights Unit (Baisch, Jones, Linder, and Stanton) — a year-long residency for Chicago-based playwrights, in partnership with Chicago Dramatists. The unit meets bi-monthly to discuss their works with the Goodman’s artistic team; the residency culminates in a staged reading of each new play. “Playwrights At Work: An Insider Access Interactive” takes place on April 23 from 5 – 6:30 pm at the Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement at the Goodman. Tickets are $15 and $10 for subscribers.